TruthTellah's forum posts

Avatar image for truthtellah
#1 Posted by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -
@milkman said:

@mastema: okay, champ. you do that.

I'm just glad @truthtellah is here to articulately state everything I want to say while I throw pithy one-liners at obvious trolls.

Thanks, Milkman! This is obviously a difficult topic for an impersonal medium like online messages; so, we'll never be perfect at how we communicate things. But you can give it your best shot.

Though, I will say I think that person you're talking to is probably someone thinking they're funny and perhaps playing a ridiculous part. Or they're very young. Either way, it's a distraction from more reasonable folks.

Avatar image for truthtellah
#2 Edited by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -
@yukoasho said:

@marokai said:

Everything you said is right, and fair, and ultimately.. well, platitudes 95% of us agree on. Very few people are fighting over "We should have more women in games!" or "We should report death threats!" or "Hey, gay people are alright!" Those conversations have been won. Anyone who was going to be convinced has been convinced. We're no longer fighting over the substance, because people agree on it. What people are now fighting over is when someone calls Persona 4 homophobic because a character wasn't the way she wanted, or that Akiba's Trip is transphobic because a character said a certain word, or that Spelunky is reinforcing harmful stereotypes by allowing the player character to save women (along with men and dogs) from ancient ruins.

We're fighting about over-analyzing and pure posturing and then people are blowing them up and mischaracterizing "the other side" when they run into disagreement. This apparent war is starting to look really weird and lopsided when even the people that are supposedly the villains openly agree with all of the foundational points.

Ironically, this is what the SJWs that have infiltrated gaming journalism don't get. Most decent people agree that women, gays, racial minorities and people of all faiths should be treated fairly. What has happened now, as with the offline civil rights and feminist movements in recent years, is the the focus has shifted from "equality" to "special treatment." It's gotten to the point where it's safer not to have women or minorities in a game at all, because any one minor thing can turn into a massive shitstorm that affects PR. People complained that The Last of Us was sexist. The fucking Last of Us, by far one of the most respectful depictions of women in traditional games in years! When even that garners crap from people, why would anyone bother?

@truthtellah : You say that this isn't all the gaming audience, but who outside of the clique likes the broad brush being used to characterize us all? Is it healthy for the very worst element in a community to define us all, as has happened repeatedly? There's barely a peep about the various Extra Life campaigns that happen each year (unless they're talking about their own event), there's no mention of the Hellfirecomms' Zeldathon last year or their Sonic-a-thon this year, there's no mention of all the good that's done in this fucking community every god damned day, while a few fuckwads who talk shit because they're anonymous punks stroking their e-penis have become the face of the whole fucking community thanks to the gaming media. Back in my day, it was the politicians who used only the worst of gamers to paint us all as shit. Now it's our own damned press. Sorry if you don't think this matters to enough people to matter to you, but I personally am tired of being lumped in with the dickheads by the one group of people who should know better.

Maybe you don't mind, but I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.

You don't see the irony in people trying for years to get anyone to acknowledge concerns they have had about games and the gaming community and now that some press are actually giving them attention some people angrily say they don't want to hear it? I think people wanting more folks that represent them in gaming news is understandable, but wanting people in gaming news and entertainment to shut up about what they're concerned about and stop sharing their opinions some people may dislike isn't the same thing.

Fortunately, idiots and dicks don't represent all of gaming. I'm critical of games and things in the gaming community, but I'm here because I still love games and care about the community around games. If I thought everyone was dicks, I wouldn't post here or anywhere else. If every person in gaming news and entertainment thought everyone was dicks, they wouldn't write gaming news or make fun videos for gamers. If developers thought everyone was dicks, they wouldn't make great games for gamers.

I'm aware of the cool things in the gaming community, and as a member, I've been involved in some awesome charity events. I've had fun with a wide variety of people over the years thanks to games, and I am one of the most active members on multiple gaming websites. I'm invested in this fun entertainment and community. But I can say there are problems. I feel things could be better in many ways. I think even great games can have problems, as well. Criticizing an aspect of something or someone does not mean you're out to destroy said thing. Most in the gaming press are likely not out to get you, and in my experience, they don't hate most gamers either.

We're not all the same in the gaming community, and that's the big point in all of this. If you agree that gaming should be a safe place for a wide variety of people to have fun, then you're not who most people are critical of. If you aren't in favor of harassment or being a dick to people different from yourselves, then you're not who most people are critical of. If you think it would be cool to have reasonable discussions on contentious topics, then you're not who most people are critical of.

You're not under attack. Those people you say you hate are the ones under attack. Those who angrily want to resist gaming being a safe and fun place for all kinds of game fans are the ones under attack. The kind of folks who harass me or send threats on my life just because I might talk about women in gaming sometimes are the ones under attack. Not you. If you feel some people continue to make you and others look bad, they're the ones you should be more angry at, as I am. I don't like dicks trying to take the spotlight from us either.

We're together in caring about games and wanting gaming to be a good place for the wide audience out there. So, instead of acting like I or any of these folks are your enemies, why not just enjoy games with us and we stand together against the dicks? I believe gaming is fun and empowering and most gamers are decent folks, and together, we can defend and improve upon that for everyone who wants to enjoy games and the gaming community.

Avatar image for truthtellah
#3 Posted by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -

Some people are now suggesting that someone in the PAX Prime Game Industry Rumble is part of the conspiracy to destroy gaming?

I may agree that someone who once called Dave Lang "the greatest person in the history of the world" is probably a monster, but come on. This really is becoming like a pro wrestling storyline.

Dr. Tracksuit, please hear our call! Only you can save gaming!

Avatar image for truthtellah
#4 Edited by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -

@marokai: I can understand some frustration about how discussion of social topics in gaming is more prominent now than it ever was. Though, imagine how frustrating it must have been for years and years for people to not feel like they could address those concerns at all. I can assure you this is as or more tiresome to have to deal with, but things are not just going to get better on their own.

This isn't about all sites having to talk about the same things; it's any sites being able to decide they want to talk about something if they want to. It's me or someone else being able to make a thread or blog post expressing an opinion on a game or story and not be told we should just stop talking about it because gaming is "supposed to be fun". A lot of people want everywhere within the gaming community to fit the mold it used to be in where their idea of "fun" was maintained at every level, and that's simply not the direction gaming is going. Our fun matters, too.

I think sites should be able to decide for themselves, and if you agree, then I don't see what the problem is. A lot of people seem mad that sites -have- decided for themselves, but their decisions haven't been to their liking. Once outlets realized they could actually address opinions and concerns that challenged gaming, a great deal of them have gone in that direction. By their choice. You can have your own site that doesn't talk about that part of gaming if you want, but no one can force the majority of sites to back down from being what they've chosen to be. Most gaming news and coverage is still around every possible thing but social topics, but those do pop up on occasion and get a lot of attention. That's not the end of the world as many act like it is.

As you said, this isn't a war; though, many as of late have acted as though they need a war to "take back our hobby". I think those people would be better served taking your advice. Support sites and communities they like and talk about what they want to talk about. Don't force gaming news writers and entertainers to back down from expressing their opinions about things. Don't imply that a gaming news writer is corrupt or evil just because they care about things you don't care as much about or feel ways you don't feel about the games you like. A lot of people seem okay with dismissive comments on topics like this, but once someone says they think there may be something to a concern, that's when someone is out of line and forcing their views on everyone.

Even just speaking of Giant Bomb, a relatively awesome place, there is still strong pushback for expressing that you may care about the treatment of women or social aspects of games. I know it's the only thing I've ever gotten death threats and harassment about here. And that's on Giant Bomb, not even just on some place like Twitter. I don't think the discussion is that diversity has already won and we're just cleaning up. It's that it's still hard to talk about these kinds of things anywhere without strong resistance. I'm a gamer and duder here, and I deserve to be able to talk about things I care about in gaming just as much as you. But because of my views being different, some people think it warrants attacking me or people like me.

Almost every time I've come out and talked about women in gaming or how we can make games even better, I've had someone reach out to me and say something like, "Thanks. I wish I didn't feel afraid to be open about this," or "The last time I piped up, people just insulted me and I don't want that again." And that hurts. That's the frame of reference I've had for the last few years, and I can tell you it's even worse elsewhere. No duder should have to feel like they aren't welcome just because of their sex, gender, race, religion, or nationality. This is the gaming community and a gaming site, and it should be possible for all of us to have fun.

Unfortunately, a forceful subsection of the gaming community continue to act like they own gaming, and developers and press should only do what they want them to do. Before the last few years, that subsection was most of what I saw in the gaming community. They were the subsection that companies pandered to, and they came to define what a "gamer" looked like. For years it seemed like I and others were only allowed as long as we did our best to fit in.

But then people started talking more. Concerns that many had were finally being shared. And oddly enough, some prominent people in the press even seemed to share those concerns. Now, it feels like we can actually express ourselves and talk about things. It's still not easy, as some people make sure discussions spiral out of control quickly or feel like such topics are grounds for treating others like crap. But it's something worth standing up for and continuing to work at. We can get it right and strike a good balance.

For all the gamers I've known and the gaming that I care so much about, I don't mind catching a little flack if it may mean more in the diverse audience of gaming fans can feel like they can be a part of it, too. I can't say all efforts to improve gaming and the community are perfect, but I'm glad many people are continuing to try to make gaming communities a better place for the wide variety of people who enjoy games.

Avatar image for truthtellah
#5 Posted by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -

This seems like a great analogy for recent gamer rage. A perceived lack of control leading to frustration. Some deal with it by shouting and throwing angry insults. And others try to reason it out and understand why they're actually angry. Often not because something is being unresponsive, but because they're putting in the wrong input.

As a spin on what you said:

Maybe I should look at this another way and focus on finding a way to calm myself and get less frustrated with things. Maybe I should pause and figure out what it is I need to do and how I’m going to do it. This will give me time to calm down as well as formulate a plan for my next attempt.

Words to live by for sure. :)

Avatar image for truthtellah
#6 Edited by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -
@marokai said:

Personally, I'm glad that many in recent years have been less afraid. More women have felt comfortable speaking up. More writers with opinions different from many gamers have been willing to share them despite fear of a backlash. Outlets still rely heavily on their audience, but a subsection of that audience is no longer their entire audience. They don't have to appease a niche or hardcore, as many magazines and Youtubers have. Instead, they can actually be open and cover a wider array of stories surrounding gaming. They can be open and express opinions about the community around them without fear of ruin. At worst, they face harassment, but many have decided that's a price worth paying for not being afraid of crossing a vocal section of their audience.

I think this is a positive thing too, but I question whether or not every publication ever has to start falling in line with this exact same "making video games coverage serious" kind of stuff. I respect the existence of a place like Polygon, I respect the ideals of people like Leigh Alexander or Carolyn Petit even if their work has not been entirely great. I think it's a positive thing for this hobby to have a a more contemplative edge, I would just like it if instead of having one or two columnists that seem to just push people's buttons on nearly every gaming site/publication, there existed one or two sites where they all conglomerated and focused on doing their work better. I feel like if I'm not constantly talking about sexism, and constantly letting every topic become a battleground for a social issue, people are telling me what a horrible person I am. Why can't I enjoy that over there, and another thing over here? I want there to be everything for everybody somewhere, I just don't see why everything has to constantly intermingle.

Aren't you basically talking about demarcating some views and topics to that section of the community over just being part of the community? The whole point of us all being together in this is not just placing people in their little corners. "You can have your own little club. Over there. Away from ours." While someone may prefer that only select sites were allowed to talk about one aspect of games, that isn't the same thing as diversity or openness. Outlets should be able to define themselves, not have you or anyone else tell them what they can talk about.

Personally, I don't think segregation is the answer. People should be able to intermingle everywhere if they want to. You can have specialty sites that only talk about certain things, but no sites or communities should be held to only being what they're allowed to be. We don't need a social issues ghetto. This also isn't a matter of every site having to be the same. I mean, we're talking on Giant Bomb, which is an inherently different beast from many other gaming sites. I think not all sites have to only discuss or say things you agree with. Enjoying that over there, and another thing over here is an option if people want that on their own sites. But I think that is mainly the desire of a subsection of the gaming audience, not the actual wider audience. Along with that, I think gaming news writers have already shown their opinion on what most of them want to be, and that does not involve segregating themselves.

Once again, this is that cable news idea that "Well, they have their thing, and we have our thing." Their community can have their thing and we can have ours. Messing with that might unsettle the status quo and cross part of the audience. It somewhat reminds me of those who hate gay pride parades, because in their words, "It's fine if they wanna be gay and all, but we don't need to see it." Unfortunately for a subsection of the gaming audience right now, they don't get to decide this for the gaming press or anyone else outside of themselves.

I'm as much a part of Giant Bomb as you are, and I am glad the gaming press and entertainment talk about social issues at times. I'm as much a part of the gaming community as you or anyone complaining lately, and I appreciate many in the gaming press's interest in expressing themselves about a wide array of topics. If all someone wants is to force outlets to include people that represent them or force some outlets to pander to them while others pander to different folks, that isn't their call. A section of gaming fans just don't have that kind of power anymore. Gaming doesn't just belong to them and people that agree with them anymore.

If your ultimate goal is simply further diversity in representation in the gaming press, you can make that argument the same way many have for women and minorities over the years. The same way many of us still are, and we'd love to have more sharing the cause. Encourage diversity and make a case for more decent folks like Total Biscuit or Jason Schreier getting their voice out there, as well. Though, Jason Schreier is already in the gaming press, and before now, was generally hated by many holding him up in this situation because he was willing in the past to criticize them and developers they like. Still, more good folks like that can get in the gaming press. Frankly, I'd say that's most of what we had in the gaming press for a long time, but obviously, there's still a demand for a more conservative stance in gaming.

I don't think an answer is in encouraging outlets to shut up about what they care about and segregate themselves to their own little corners or forcing outlets to bring people on that they aren't interested in bringing on, but championing diversity and encouraging people to consider positive change in the future is certainly something a wide audience of gamers can get behind. :)

Avatar image for truthtellah
#7 Edited by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -

Of significance to this topic, over 600 game creators today have called for an end to the harassment and prejudice which still plagues some corners of gaming.

As they put it:

Open letter to the gaming community

We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.

If you see threats of violence or harm in comments on Steam, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook or reddit, please take a minute to report them on the respective sites.

If you see hateful, harassing speech, take a public stand against it and make the gaming community a more enjoyable space to be in.

Thank you

[Link to Letter]

I appreciate that a wide variety of folks from places like Sony, Microsoft, Bungie, Ubisoft, Blizzard, Infinity Ward, and many more have signed onto it, and I think it's something most of us can support.

Avatar image for truthtellah
#8 Edited by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -

@yukoasho said:

@marokai said:

YouTube isn't somehow a savior of integrity, but I will say that I find it relaxing to go to YouTube these days because very few of them have delusions of grandeur on a level like this, and those who do don't last long. When you're in the shit on a daily basis like you are with YouTube, you're sort of forced constantly into being checked by people who can throw feedback in your face on a regular basis; you can stay grounded. You sort of have to, your entire existence is predicated on serving your community rather than writing about how they're big misogynerds.

In addition, I tend learn way more about games on YouTube than pretty much anywhere else these days, with people who are specialists in what they like showing me exactly how games work on deeper mechanical levels that few of those in the press are equipped to show off, because they're off chasing hits. A group of self proclaimed "shit-tier e-celebs" are better informed from reading Gaf all day than most members of the press seem to be.

YouTube also doesn't really sanctify people. I probably grew up more attuned to "YouTube debate culture" than I was with "gamer" culture; watching the early days of YouTube unfold with the religious vs. non-religious debates of yesteryear was a learning experience for me. Seeing people make a statement, get a response, that gets a response, and so on, is how I grew to understand what debating and feedback is.

I think it was @oldirtybearon who once asked me what I find appealing about The Amazing Atheist; it's because he's flawed. I don't like people who let themselves be put on a pedestal, or put behind the social media pulpit like a modern day preacher. TAA knows he can be full of shit, he's challenged on a regular basis, and if I took one thing away from watching him grow since 2006 it's that you don't have to like a person who you agree with, or hate a person you disagree with. On his podcast he basically embodies nuance, and the sentiment of "if I'm wrong, show me the counter-argument, come on this show, I want to see it." That you can listen to a news story of someone you hate and still find agreement in one thing he said because the substance of the argument is what matters most. I see that nowhere but YouTube, these days, the desire for direct debate.

There is often very little direct feedback given to the games press of today, and many of the people who are criticized allow the wagons to be circled and construct an image that is then beyond reproach. Anita Sarkeesian, for example, is a sacred object because the actions of a few have allowed people to nearly deify her. Feedback is impossible because people have created a dogma. I don't like that. Even if I agreed entirely with Anita on all of her videos, I would still dislike the way she does not allow feedback, and legions of people come to her defense at the mildest of accusations; these things make my inner skeptic too uncomfortable. The way the modern games press is similarly so hermetically sealed that they don't recognize outside feedback or criticism, that they don't seem genuinely self critical, it pushes me away. YouTube isn't perfect in this regard either, but at least there I know more people will listen.

Certainly more than on Twitter, anyway, which is arguably one of the worst avenues for debate on the face of the planet.

I'd like to add that, if a popular Youtuber is caught taking bribes, the rest of Youtube's game channels will pitch a fit. The level of group-think in the mainstream games media is beyond disturbing. The sheer number of differing voices on Youtube and similar sites effectively makes that impossible. The games press (including Giant Bomb) are so cloistered, so confined in their cliques that they can't see anything outside. We're nothing to them. Nay, we are less than nothing; the hatred the games press has for its readership seems to grow by the day.

Have you considered that may actually just be how you and a subsection of the audience feel?

I personally don't see or feel a disdain toward me in the games press and entertainment. I've seen them actually connect with average gamers more and more over the last few years. The Internet has allowed them a more direct line to their audience, and that has brought both opportunity and trouble. I would say most of that trouble has been on their end, with a more direct avenue for lashing out at them. Yet, direct criticism and discussion has also been more possible, and I'm glad to see it endure despite many challenges.

I do see a frustration over bigoted and abusive people, but frankly, that isn't me. I'd assume that's not you either, but I guess that's up to you. When they point out issues amongst their wide audience, I see that as an opportunity to continue to improve our communities, not as some kind of attack on me. You're good people; I'm good people. Let's talk about how there may be problems and find a way to make things better.

Despite how some may feel, you and others may not represent all of the games press readership. And for those like myself who may be different from the subsection some have defined as the primary readership, I don't agree with there being some kind of war on me or anyone else. I definitely don't think they're too cloistered, and I'd say they've actually been going in the opposite direction over the years. I appreciate that YouTube and blogging has empowered a wider range of perspectives, and I credit that with allowing women and social issues to become a larger topic in gaming. The more inclosed gaming press of the past which was primarily men has had to open up more to keep up with the growing array of voices out there. There has been an opening to not just represent the interests of a small subsection that used to bogart most of the attention. They don't just have to appease that part of the audience anymore.

I personally feel closer to folks in the games press than ever, and I can appreciate that many of them may feel differently than I do on some things. I can consider their opinions and share my own. The variety of perspectives in gaming is wider than ever, and as a goofy, different fellow, I'm glad that's the case. Gaming is a place for all of us. The audience isn't as limited as it once was. Everyone has the right to play games, criticize games, and make games. Our diversity is an ever-growing strength of gaming, and I'm glad many are standing up for it more and more. :)

Avatar image for truthtellah
#9 Posted by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -

Shovel Knight.

Avatar image for truthtellah
#10 Posted by TruthTellah (9809 posts) -

@marokai: Isn't the reliance on your audience an enduring challenge in news being able to address all kinds of stories?

In other words, when you rely on your audience for your existence and success, you're inherently deterred from covering stories the audience dislikes or ever being too critical of the audience. Old gaming magazines were far closer to current YouTube than modern gaming news writing on websites, and it's only natural some may be drawn more to them now. Because magazines and YouTube creators rely far more on niche support. Appeasing your select audience. That, in general, means not crossing them out of fear of losing them.

I think we can see a lot of that here and in cable news. With so many options to choose from, he big networks have leaned more and more into their niche, covering stories in a way that pleases their "side" of things. Their audience is more sacred. The views of their audience more gospel than the truth. If FOX News came out and tried to cover some of the racist elements in opposition to US President Obama, they'd probably have people knocking on their studio doors with pitchforks. If MSNBC did an expose on abuses by Unions around the nation, you'd have people tossing kale at them as they went to work. The more our audience is sacred, the more deterred people become from questioning them or crossing the views they may have.

The shift of gaming news to the Internet has allowed more room for actually covering things the traditional audience may not like. They've even been able to look at themselves and the audience and say, "Maybe we have problems. Maybe there's things we can do better." But some within that audience don't want to be challenged. They don't want news thinking about them as anything but beyond reproach. They are the audience, and they must be served. In a similar way as you put it, they want an outlet's entire existence to be predicated on serving them rather than writing anything they may disagree with.

Personally, I'm glad that many in recent years have been less afraid. More women have felt comfortable speaking up. More writers with opinions different from many gamers have been willing to share them despite fear of a backlash. Outlets still rely heavily on their audience, but a subsection of that audience is no longer their entire audience. They don't have to appease a niche or hardcore, as many magazines and Youtubers have. Instead, they can actually be open and cover a wider array of stories surrounding gaming. They can be open and express opinions about the community around them without fear of ruin. At worst, they face harassment, but many have decided that's a price worth paying for not being afraid of crossing a vocal section of their audience.

Even many developers have felt like that traditional subsection of gamers are not their only audience anymore, and that has opened them up to being able to explore more kinds of games. They've felt free to be critical of their own games and improve them. Social issues are no longer non-factors that can't be considered. Women are no longer a non-audience in the mind of many publishers. Countries outside the US have become viable markets to consider. Developers are beholden to their audience, but that audience is no longer just those people who think everything should stay as they are.

The commanding voice isn't just male gamers anymore, and they've seen how even male gamers are not so ubiquitous in their interests and views as was once thought. They can safely pursue a wider audience without fear of assured failure. There are still that subsection which loudly say developers would be fools to cross them and not only focus on them as they had in the past, but fortunately, there are plenty of other people who love games and are interested in supporting these developers.

I am glad that gaming news outlets have been more willing to challenge parts of their audience, because we are not sacred. I am glad that more developers have been willing to challenge themselves to do even better and expand their audience from the narrow range of fans many focused on. Gamers are a wider audience now, and a subsection of that audience is not all that matters. I matter, too. My friends and others who may be different from the normal image of a gamer are as much gamers as anyone else.

Gaming belongs to all of us, and I am glad more gaming news writers and game developers are increasingly willing to question parts of their audience, explore every aspect of gaming, and see the value in the ever more diverse audience which cares about games.